There Are Always Glitches.

I recently treated myself to a new iPad, planning to use it, I confess, for scrolling, for writing, and viewing cute dog videos. Because it was expensive, (Apple products are), I thought I would get it set up by a professional at an Apple Store.

When I approached the technician, I made the mistake of saying I had purchased the iPad from Best Buy.

“O,” he said. “We don’t do that for products not purchased at an Apple Store.”

My first impulse was to “go off” on him but then I realized he was busy and an employee at the bottom of the food chain who didn’t make policies.

Instead, I said, ‘What??!! I’m going to phone Steve Jobs…”

“On her ouija board,” interrupted my son who was with me.

With his help and my own iPhone, setting the new device up was easy, although it did involve a little of the obsessive-compulsive, on my part.

My daughter gave me the keyboard I requested for Christmas. Today I wanted to send the Pages document I had written to my PC to print. The old version of the word processing program used to convert the document to Word, no issues. (I should mention I’m cheap and didn’t buy a wifi enabled printer.) Not so, the new Pages.

Particular frustration ensued when the pop-up message announcing the end of support for my Word 2010 in October 2020. Now I will have to buy an subscription (to the tune of $79 annually) if I want to used Word. Gah. I have a lot of my “treasured” writing in Word so I have to open the mothy wallet.

I’m waiting to see what other “surprises” are in store. I do like the iPad and I like Word. I just didn’t expect to do things myself or to buy Office 365. It’s a new Year.

Finally, a hummingbird

For years now, my husband and I have engaged in futile efforts to attract a humming- bird (or in fantasies) hummingbirds to the yard. There are trees around and every year I try to plant flowers that will attract the illusive little birds. This season it was some scarlet runner beans. They climbed up the metal trellis I put behind them and dutifully produced the red flowers. No hummingbirds.

We have had crows, magpies, and blue jays. They are large enough to escape the small hawks which have taken up residence in our neighbourhood. There were few songbirds because- hawks. They might prey on hummingbirds, we theorized. Despite years of failure, a feeder with a sugar solution (and no red dye to harm anything that showed up) was hung. It’s been a year for the wasps and they had no trouble feeding on the artificial nectar.

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If you look at the right “flower” you can see one of our regular visitors.

I gave up but Gary kept watching and hallelujah one morning, he saw an elusive visitor. He tried not to be disappointed because it was a lone, small hummingbird, a female. It was single and in fragile health he thought. Our hummingbird didn’t hover, but sat to feed. It wasn’t much bigger than the wasps but she wasn’t intimidated by them.

After observing her several times (me, even a couple), and consulting the “bird book” and Mr. Google, we determined that our little green bird was indeed, a female Calliope hummingbird. And here she is. I wish I could say the photo was mine but it isn’t. She is very dainty and soon will be headed south.

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Again, thanks to google, I can tell you that she is, weighing about as much as a ping-pong ball, the smallest, long-distance migratory bird in the world. Calliope humming-birds winter in Mexico and then in spring fly up the Pacific Coast. Our little girl is out of her range since we are farther east than this hummingbird species is usually found; Calliope hummingbirds are more likely to summer in BC. Soon she will make her way back along the Rockies to Mexico, a round-trip of 5,000 miles.

Calliopes are feisty little birds and have been seen chasing red-tail hawks. We will be looking anxiously next spring for the return of our little hummingbird. Surely she is not an anomaly; surely she will bring a mate and maybe friends.

 

Apple Pie Procrastination

There are two apple trees in our yard; they are mature and produce lots of apples high up in the branches. If this was a normal year, the fruit on the far tree would be just ready. This wasn’t a normal year and the apples are scarred from hail and were ready way sooner than most years. I managed, with a bit of a threat to life and limb, to pick enough for, get this, one pie. I knew I wanted to make some pies; I freeze them and if there is a special occasion or if it’s a nasty winter day, I’ll pull one out and voila! a treat. I did procrastinate just a little and when I went to pick the apples, a lot had already dropped. The ones left were hard to reach and as I said, scarred and overripe. I made a pie anyway and it’s in the freezer.

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And here it is. I channeled my mom just a little. Any time she made a pie, the extra bit of pastry was turned into a little bit of art, usually mimicking a poinsettia. So there it is- I cheated and used a cookie cutter but there is a decoration on this single pie from this year’s apples.

There were a few left over so I googled a recipe and made an apple-cheddar loaf. Canadian Living has the best recipes that taste good, aren’t crazy to make, and turn out. The loaf was pronounced pretty good, and “I may have a slice of that for breakfast.” The husband isn’t good with new flavours. I’m not suggesting that there is anything unique or unusual about the loaf but it does taste good.

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And here it is, under wraps because I tried a slice before I remembered to take a picture. If you want to try the loaf, click here for the  recipe.

I realize it is the May Long Weekend…sigh. We aren’t doing anything and for the people camping, it isn’t the best of weather. Weather didn’t used to stop us. Before retirement, it was the last hurrah of summer. If like me, you’re home this long weekend, get your apples while you can. Pies and apple bread.

 

The Little Hazard Golf Course

The Capt. Ayre Lake website lists, as one of its amenities, a “rugged golf course.” What it doesn’t do is explain that the course is a challenging nine holes carved out of the dry, tough grass and cactus covered prairie. Bushes and stunted trees abound and from hole 3 there is a nice view of a pristine pond and beaver dam. The fairways are so hard this time of year, that even a moderately hit hay burner bounces and rolls, well, a country mile. The greens, themselves, are sand greens hieing back to a simpler time when small town golf courses used oiled sand as greens. Players were responsible for raking and smoothing the green after putting so that the next group had a good surface, too.

The best part, to my parsimonious heart? The green fees were $3 for the nine holes. You do get your three dollars worth. In three rounds my golfing partner and I managed to lose a ball down the middle of the fairway. We looked and looked and finally concluded, improbably, that it had gone down a gopher hole. I spent some time looking for balls I’d whacked into the bush. My partner found seven that were not mine in the trees at the side of one insanely narrow approach to the green. Numerous tees snapped off in the hard ground. Wasps buzzed around threatening to spoil yet another great drive. One of my shots went into a steep little ravine populated by dry, thorny plants. I almost fell retrieving the ball. Putts were demanding. The sand on the greens is no longer oiled or even worked up. Your shot just bounces along and depends on luck.

Despite its obvious opportunity for frustrations, the course offered some definite advantages. We were the only players. There was no course marshal to hurry you along, no impatient players hoping to play through as we hopeless duffers searched for yet another lost ball. It was like a chance to commune with nature. Butterflies and birds. A flash to the past with its outhouses, where  pulling down the toilet tissue in one brought out a promethea moth which, unused to daytime activity, fluttered away in confusion. A good drive or putt seemed especially rewarding considering the challenges.

It seems you don’t need to be at Pebble Beach or one of the Trump (perish the thought) courses to enjoy a round with the clubs. If you want to have fun, you will and the Little Hazard Golf Course provided it in abundance.

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Capt. Ayre Lake- cool, clean water and a great sandy bottom.
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Promethea moth- there are 13,000 species.

I’m Back

I’m back! The old blog was tired and the site wasn’t blogger-friendly. It focused on having a store and selling things and “getting your product out there.” I’m not selling anything and if I were, it would still be likely that I wouldn’t be selling anything. I’m looking to have a place to mildly vent injustices, inequalities, and other common problems. And then there will be my erudite, slightly skewed comments on everyday life. I hope that new site is fresh and inspires more creativity on my part.